Waffles

"I'm gonna make waffles!"

This line from the animated movie "Shrek" was the inspiration for the purchase of a Belgian waffle iron and subsequent preparation of waffles. It is tradition, prior to preparation, to utter this line in your best Eddie Murphy voice to announce the coming of waffles.

In all seriousness, there are numerous waffle recipes, and I've started trying different ones to see how they turn out. The first two are my standard "go to" waffle recipes. Which I make depends upon what kind of consistency I want in my waffles:

Note - the instructions for cooking the waffles are tailored to the particular waffle iron I have. Defer to your waffle iron instructions when determining how much batter and how long to cook the waffles.


Shrek Memorial Light and Crispy Waffles

History - This is the first waffle I made when I bought my waffle iron. The recipe is from the recipe book that came with my waffle iron and is a very light and crispy waffle, almost airy in its lightness.

Rating - excellent

Ingredients

Preparation - In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Set aside. Beat egg whites until stiff. Add milk and egg yolks to flour mixture. Stir until smooth. Add oil and vanilla to batter and mix well. Fold egg whites into the batter. Pour 2/3 cup batter into the middle of the waffle iron. Cook 5 to 6 minutes or until golden brown.


Rich and Crunchy Buttermilk Waffles

History - This is my second "go to" waffle recipe and is what I call the Rich and Crunchy Version. It is no-holds barred, heavy-duty, butter-filled, substantial waffle that dares all comers to try them. This is the kind with a full stick of butter in it. Oh, did I mention that the full stick version is the *light* version? Yes, the Dare I Eat This Waffle Waffle contains a full two sticks of butter. It is so impressive that I have yet to dare try it out of fear of causing a national butter shortage. This recipe is from "Joy of Cooking."

Rating - excellent

Ingredients

Preparation - Preheat waffle iron. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, and baking soda (if using) in a bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, melted butter, and buttermilk (or milk). Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. Gently whisk them together with a few swift strokes. The batter should have a pebbled look, similar to a muffin batter. Pour 2/3 cup batter into the middle of the waffle iron (or whatever the amount your waffle iron recommends). Cook 5 to 6 minutes or until golden brown.


Cake Flour Buttermilk Waffles

History - I was curious to see how a waffle recipe using cake flour instead of regular flour would turn out. I was hoping for something that was very crunchy on the outside but light and fluffy on the inside. Instead, I got a waffle that wasn't crunchy at all but rather floppy. It also didn't brown much, probably because of the absence of sugar in the batter. Still, load these up with a pile of sliced fruit and some maple sugar-infused whipped cream, and you've got a pretty tasty breakfast.

Rating - okay

Ingredients

Preparation - Mix the flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Mix the melted butter, eggs, and buttermilk in a second bowl. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix briefly (ten seconds, max). You will have some lumps left - that is normal and good. Bake in a preheated waffle iron - 2/3 of a cup for 5-6 minutes works for mine. Remove to a wire rack if not eating immediately.


Cook's Illustrated "Fizzy Waffles"

History - One of the more unusual ingredients in these is seltzer water. So I have decreed these Fizzy Waffles. Despite all that, they are rather ordinary waffles. They are a little crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. The flavor is a little bland and mostly relies upon the toppings you select for the kicks of flavor. I miss the buttery richness of my favorite waffles from Joy of Cooking, but these will do for any breakfast or dinner that calls for them.

The recipe is from "The Cook's Illustrated Cookbook."

Rating - okay

Ingredients

Preparation - Start waffle iron heating. Whisk flour, buttermilk powder, sugar, salt, and baking soda together in a large bowl. Whisk sour cream, eggs, vanilla, and oil together in a medium bowl to combine. Gently stir seltzer into wet ingredients. Make well in center of dry ingredients and pour in wet ingredients. Using a rubber spatula, gently stir until just combined (batter should be lumpy with few streaks of flour). Cook in waffle iron according to waffle iron's instructions.


Storage

Room temperature - poor
Refrigerator - okay
Freezer - excellent

If you are not eating them the morning you make them, then freeze them. The reheat almost perfectly from frozen state. Just pop them in a 350F oven for ten minutes and they are almost indistinguishable from just out of the waffle iron. Or, if in a hurry, you can also use a toaster, although you'll have to watch them carefully to make sure they do not burn.